Subject: Revivin', Skydivin', Drivin', Jivin' and Thrivin'
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 05:27:34 +0000
From: "-= Audacious Adventurer Al =- "
September 29, 2002... Wellington, New Zealand (the capital)
Ready for some adrenaline? Whew-ho-ho! Skydiver Al plunged on beautiful sunny Thursday afternoon air surfing from 12,000 feet (3,000 meters) - yes he did! Yeah, he's free-e-e-e-e-e-e free falling!
Some of you may know what it feels like before you voluntarily decide on jumping out of an airplane, but for those of you who don't I RECOMMEND YOU GET OUT THERE AND TRY IT!
Yeah, I tensed up at the last moment after seeing a British bloke Alistar do a backflip with his tandem master out the airplane hatch. I said, "Holy $hit!" as I watched them roll over in the sky a couple of times before they escaped my sight. I was next and the butterflies in my stomach became fireflies. I stopped thinking, got my picture taken before the jump, and flipped over out of the airplane!
"Whew who! Ha ha ha ha ha! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" I chanted boisteriously so many times as I descended rapidly during the 45-second free fall! I even shouted Paul's "Get some!" I didn't close my eyes for a second. I extended my arms and started air surfing! Yeah baby yeah! What was I afraid of?
In the air about 5,200 feet above sea level when the parachute opened, my tandem dive master Gary said to me, "Well, what did you think?"
"DA BOMB - that dive was the bomb"
Now, I'm fairly certain those words never parted my lips in my entire life. I just kept shouting it gleefully over and over again "DA BOMB, DA BOMB" as we glided over the largest lake in New Zealand near Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings until my brain and senses started enjoying the rest of the glide. I told Greg as we were coasting 5,000 feet above ground, 'If I had a wish that I could only use on myself, it would be that I could fly. This is as close as I'll ever get.' I started pretending I was superman and hoped the descent would last forever . . .
I can't stop thinking about that dive. I need another fix. I just want to do it again. I want to become a certified skydiver and take other beginners to jump. Interestingly, I'm not the only fool that feels that way! Realistically, I'll probably never jump again. Bungee seems like a baby's toy now! I'll just have to settle for downhill skiing which is the only vaguely comparable rush I know.
Ouch! I have Achilles heel! I've earned it from all the street hiking and dancing I did last weekend in hilly Auckland, but I'm just adapting to it. Earlier this week before my free-fall I was relaxing in a geothermic town called Rotorua. There's bubbly lakes and mud pools with acidic water all over the town from volcanoes that haunt the area.
I got to tease you! While you're all back working, studying, and dealing with the stress of your mundane everyday lives, I was relaxing my heel for two days in hot mineral bath waters at Polynesian Spas. Yup, I mindlessly dibbled in hot tubs on my tender tush reading books, talking to people, and soaking the day away. This spa was outdoors and had a beautiful mountainous lake view. To my delight, a few people thought I worked there and asked me for directions and touring tips. It must be my lifeguard look :)
Here's an interesting fast food chain tidbit for you: There's more Kentucky Fried Chickens and Burger Kings here than there are McDonald's. In Rotorua I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken because it was the only convenient place in town open later than 5 besides McDonald's. It has the same greasy fare that I'd eat in 'The States.' I won't make that mistake again!
Arriving in windy Wellington I instantly made friends. This town is one of the friendliest (and gustiest) I've encounter so far on this trip. I got pusedo-lost three times and almost instantly somebody stopped to help me while I was reading a map. As my Canadian friend Nick would say, "Kiwis are wicked!" Two Germans siblings arrived, Veggie Sandra and Silent Alex and I instantly hit it off with them. Thus, we headed to the supermarket and returned cooking a big veggie dinner at the hostel.
After the jovial feast made with the labour of love, I was invited on a coastal excursion to the outskirts of Wellington the following day. HORSE MANURE! Yup, folks. They sell horse$hit here on the sides of the road for $1 a bag. What a deal! It was the most staunchly discovery I made here in New Zealand and I'll have pictures to prove it.
What else can I say about driving? If you don't know, the Kiwis(and Aussies) drive on the right side of the road, also known as BACKWARDS. Silent Alex only marginally escaped two accidents because Germans drive normal as well. Yup, the adrenaline keeps pumping even after my skydive....
I set myself up nicely to arrive in windy Wellington for some weekend swing or ceroc dancing . Alas, to my displeasure, the Wellington swingers are over in SYNDEY with FRANKIE MANNING. Man, this father of swing really gets around. He was in MELBOURNE with me in February and Philadelphia in MAY when I returned to the USA. It's probably better there's no dancing for me heel because I know I'd be shaking a leg out there despite my annoying foot problem.
Oh, also I got a couple emails shouting at me that swing dancing isn't asexual. Well, I rescind my earlier comment. Swing dancing can be sexual, but only select people I feel comfortable with get the hubba hubba dancing style from me :) :) :)
Man - I am at total peace, harmony, and control. I keep meeting like- minded people over here who share their realities and are keeping it real. Once again, I truly believe I made the right choice by working my a$$ off again to live out my heart's desire. I may have to come back to the real world from this fabulous playground of life I've been monkeying around in these past 8 months, but I am more of a complete focused person than I was back in January 2002. The future is in MY control and I my ultimate hope is not to let external influences veer me from MY own sunshiny yellow brick road. As the Teaguester says, "Don't let others steal your joy." Amen.
Take your passion and make it happen! Yeah!!!
Have a good week!
"If you're unhappy with what you have today, do you think having more is going to make you happier tomorrow?" - Somebody at my hostel here in Wellington ================================================================== You've got a friend in . . . |--------------------------------------------------------------| | Allen Rue - traveling extraordinaire - joy seeker | |--------------------------------------------------------------|